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26 Nuclear Plants Under Threat from Sandy Hurricane

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posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 02:16 PM

“The plant can withstand relatively high winds, but the transmission grid can’t — that’s all those transmission towers that are all over the states,” Gundersen says. “So what’s like to happen is that power lines will go down and the plant will suffer what will call loss of offsite power,” the same thing that happened at Fukushima, Japan.

I support nuclear energy –convinced it holds the only sustainable ways forward that won’t get inventors assassinated. As unlike e.g. solar it will always have big business behind it as only a big business will run it.

Although I Strongly Oppose: Much of the nuclear technology designed in the 1960’s and constructed in the 1970’s that’s still in use today –simply because it lacks the most important kind of safety Passive Safety
All 3 major accidents (3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima) belong to this era –a time no commercial electricity plant had suffered any major accident).

As of 2011 Half of US Nuclear Reactors Are Over 30 Years Old…
This map shows why the East Coast is full of them…

This is worrying, as the biggest cause of shutting down old nuclear plants is something called “Nuclear Brittling”

No aging problem has been more vexing or dangerous in nuclear power plants than the tendency of reactors to grow brittle.

In certain emergencies, these vessels would flood with cooling water. If the vessel walls are too brittle, they could shatter and spew their radioactive contents into the environment.

By 1982, 14 nuclear plants had violated the standard. An NRC staff report offered the faint reassurance that no shutdowns would be needed "in the next few years." The agency went to work — not figuring out how to fix vessels, but justifying a higher standard

Good read here
Basically nuclear brittling becomes a problem when the reactors cooling pipes are flooded with very cold water –far colder that it normally deals with when boiling it to make electricity. Most reactors were designed to take this cold water as a way of quickly & safely bringing them under control, as the reaction is stopped by the insertion of Control Rods.
However: Over decades of exposure to intense reactor radiation, steel & iron become as brittle as glass. Therefore this safety system, turns into a Safety Disaster (exactly like the Chernobyl accident which happened solely thanks to an experiment designed to improve reactor safety!).
The are other ways of controlling reactors which do not rely on ultra-cool water inserted into them, and these are now used in almost all modern designs (especially the newly reinvestigated, lead cooled reactors). Needless to say the safety jokes built throughout the 1970’s and even much of the 1990’s, isn’t sufficiently protected.

Reactors these reactors will already be shut down long before the storm hits.
Other than that: Let’s hope the NRC has made the right safety calculations about what’s possible in extending the age of a reactor, which in many cases were designed to have closed years ago.

Won’t it be ironic indeed, if…
1. A Supper Storm, made increasingly likely because of modern climate change, (CO2 highest in 15 million years )
2. Damages old reactor technology, which therefore makes it very difficult to stop the Gas Fracking polluting our water (sea tap water fire)
3. And coal plants which are so much less controversial for corporations to build.
Despite e.g. Mountain Hilltop Removal Mining:
Or coal killing 1.5 Chernobyl’s of people in the 300 million U.S population alone, a year
Or the ash releasing 100 times more natural radioactivity into the environment, than nuclear releases artificial

posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 02:21 PM
The pipes in reactors get changed on a regular basis Just an FYI for you

posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 02:43 PM
I'd be most grateful if you had a link for that.
You might have got confused cooling pipes, with Fuel Rods –fuel rods do get changed every few years as transmutation products build up, and therefore slow down the reaction.
(Also even if pipes were changed) the reactor vessel is still weakened by radiation, so it will still crack under a sudden temperature drop.

The technological was not rocket science: A higher capacity for dumping decay heat into the ground by Convection cooling. In addition better alloys have been developed, tighter secondary containment if the reactor did crack-leak, and at least one reactor I’ve seen does something else I mustn’t talk about as still being patented.
The stuff they got away without doing in the past was outrageous -as is the fact these plants still haven't been replaced (even though most were actually built to only last 25 years).

posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 02:53 PM
Sandy is only a Category One hurricane. A nuclear power plant can withstand tornado winds, which are much stronger than any hurricane will ever get. Last year the plant near where I lived in Alabama, Browns Ferry, withstood a number of EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes going through the area with no problems at all. The problem was that they have to have incoming power from another site to provide the cooling system power. That is what went down after the tornado impacts. But they are required to have backup power systems that can provide power long enough for the power to be restored to the plant.

posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 04:27 PM
No confusion and no link I deal with the pipe fitters and welders for the 2 local plants on a regular basis. Just a fact of nuclear plant life. Also deal with the electricians, electronic techs carpenters and laborers a couple of times a year. The plant south here has 2 reactors that drop ice on the reactor for quick emergency cool down the one north just uses more water in an emergency but it's reactor was replaced about 7-8 years ago. 2' thick stainless that was robotacially cut and removed and new parts were barged in from Japan to rebuild it. They call the reactor 40 years old but it's all less than 10 no public hearing required to rebuild a reactor only to build new ones

I know a little
edit on 29-10-2012 by mikellmikell because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 30 2012 @ 10:31 PM
It’s been a good 24 hours for nuclear energy. The big worry was it only took a 3.84% chance for one of the reactors to suffer meltdown, for that to be one big, accident too many.
A hairy situation did develop at one of the affected nuclear plants when it was within half a foot, of needing to rely on fire trucks for cooling…

The alert – the second lowest of four NRC action levels – came after water levels at the plant rose by more than 6.5 feet (2 metres), potentially affecting the pumps that circulate water through the plant, an NRC spokesman said.
Those pumps are not essential since the plant is shut for planned refuelling at the moment. However a further rise to 7 feet could submerge the service water pump motor that is used to cool the water in the spent fuel pool.

However the last 24 hours has delivered another moment for nuclear working out well…

In the most significant boost yet for Government plans for a new network of atomic power stations, Japanese engineering giant Hitachi took on a project to construct plants in Wales and Gloucestershire.
The £700million deal will create 12,000 jobs for construction workers, engineers and other skilled employees, and spark a broader multi-billion-pound investment in the nuclear industry.
Two British firms, power systems provider Rolls-Royce and engineering services group Babcock International, will work with Hitachi on the project. 90

Hitachi has now paid equivalent of 1.1 billion US dollars for the land to build itself at least 6 new, UK nuclear reactors at the cost to itself of around 20 billion dollars. These first reactors will be located at two power station sites
This is obviously good news, not just for Wales but for the economy as a whole including our battle to reduce CO2 emissions, from statistically far more lethal sources of energy like coal:
Mikellmickell I’ve checked what you said. It’s true coolant pipes are replaced at some U.S reactors, and I suppose (they are replacing the reactor to that degree) it’s why so many U.S nuclear powerstations are so old. I really don’t mind, if providing things really are being done safely. The appalling history of the Davis Besse Powerstation proves it was till recently possible to easy to be criminally incompetent…

On March 5, 2002, maintenance workers discovered that corrosion had eaten a football-sized hole into the reactor vessel head of the Davis-Besse plant. Although the corrosion did not lead to an accident, this was considered to be a serious nuclear safety incident.[1][2] The Nuclear Regulatory Commission kept Davis-Besse shut down until March 2004, so that FirstEnergy was able to perform all the necessary maintenance for safe operations. The NRC imposed its largest fine ever -- more than $5 million -- against FirstEnergy for the actions that led to the corrosion. The company paid an additional $28 million in fines under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.[1]

So what America wants to do is replace 1970’s technology with reactors like the Westinghouse 1000 which just are, inherently safe through Passive Safety.
This is the type both Britain & China will use. However it’s still passing through America’s slow approval process!
edit on 090705 by Liberal1984 because: Spelling

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